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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Nov 1, 2006 9:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

There have been various posts over the years about great moments at various shows. I was just wondering what your lowlights may be. For me, luckily, they were few and far between.

Here are a few I have witnessed.

4-13-86, Irvine Meadows: This is the moment that left the worst taste in my mouth and has really stuck with me ever since. In the middle of the first Terrapin Jam, Jerry abruptly walked off stage, leaving the rest of the band looking at each other in bewilderment and the crowd stunned. Brent and Bobby tried to save face by going into Don't Need Love, and the fans were hoping that maybe they would complete the song after drums, but it didn't happen.

9-24-88, MSG Rainforest Benefit: When Hall & Oates took the stage and started doing Every Time You Go Away. This is the only time I ever heard boos while the Dead were on stage, it just seemed like such a wierd fit and seeing the boys playing such a schmaltzy pop song was shocking, especially since Bobby seemed to be so into it. Luckily there was a small (very small) bit of redemption after when they played What's Going On, one of the great songs of all time, although the overpowering horns made it hard to make out what the band sounded like.

112-9-81 CU, Boulder: In the middle of Jack Straw, I think Bobby just lost his focus and the band had a meltdown, It seemed as if everyone was playing something different, Jerry had this big frown on his face and his brows were all furrowed, Phill threw his hands up in frustration and turned his back on Jerry. it only lasted about 10 seconds or so, and on the recording it doesn't sound near as badly as it did live, but it seemed like an eternity at the show. Interestingly, dispite that meltdown, i still consider this show to be one of the best I ever saw.

Then, of course there were all the moments when lyrics were flubbed, especially Jerry in the later years, but i came to accept those as just part of the scene.




This post was modified by Purple Gel on 2006-11-01 17:59:16

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Poster: SactownTom Date: Nov 1, 2006 2:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

11/3/84--Berkeley Comm. Theater After a ripping Stranger>Cumberland to start the 2nd, The Boys do a great Gloria (my first), and as it winds down, Phil charges into Lovelight (like at the Melk Weg). The crowd erupts, but Jer doesn't follow Phil's lead. Instead he works it into Why Don't We Do It In The Road, which Phil had busted out at the Greek earlier that summer. PL does not follow Jer's lead, and won't sing. So Jerry sings it while Phil goes through the motions, and bails as soon as he can. They do , however, "salvage" the show, and come out of space into John's>Fantasy>Throwing Stones>Lovelight (finally!).

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Poster: cush11 Date: Nov 1, 2006 2:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

I remember that one! Battle of the wills. Wasn't it the same run (maybe halloween) that Bobby had a whistle around his neck and was being very obnoxious with it, end of 2nd set, maybe it was during the encore. Phil walked over to Bobby, grabbed the whistle and yanked. Bobby then implore's us "Phil took my whistle, tell Phil to give me my whistle back", to which we replied as one... NNNOOOOOO!!!

Another Ventura the next day 7-22-84. Not a train wreck at all (maybe it was just the green gels), but... The Amtrak rails run just outside the fairgrounds and to this day I still swear that during Terrapin, right at "But the trains put it's brakes on, and the whistle (Amtrak as if on cue, Bwaaa, bwaaa) is screaming"!!! Fun show that day though there was another downer story posted about it awhile ago. I was blissfully oblivious and it is still one of my favorite GD concerts.

And yet another Ventura story... I think it was '85 there is a Holiday Inn just a hop & a skip from the fairgrounds and this year there was some sort of law enforcement convention the same weekend as the shows! Very interesting mix, I think the cops, being off duty actually kind of enjoyed the deadheads antics...

OK, just one more. Trainwreck narrowly averted? Red Rocks, 85 or 86 (the daytime shows). 1st set opener, Jerry's equipment isn't working, he's getting pissed, the Rhythm Devils to the rescue. Billy and Mickey with the Frozen Logger Song!!!

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Poster: jhender501 Date: Nov 1, 2006 2:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

There's always the brokedown Brokedown from Telluride.."Hey this is all !@#$ed up! We're in the wrong key!" which of course wasn't the problem.


Jim

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Poster: Fishead Date: Nov 2, 2006 6:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

yeah ,it was the high altitude.....hehehehehe

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Nov 2, 2006 11:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

don’t know what to make of the unfinished Terrapin...i wasn't there and while i tend to put Terrapin in the epic if not quintessential category, i still don't think it is such a bad thing to forgo the conclusion to what is a multi sectioned song to start with

the brokedown Brokedown i witnessed was 7/2/85, the last encore of the last show of the tour ...Jerry starts singing the verse "Gonna leave this broke down palace..." while playing the chords meant for the intro...his voice was up there in another key and sounded quite haunting echoing through the "igloo"...sent a shiver to the tips of my toes, but soon grinded to a halt, then Jer said “Hello...sounded good didn’t it?”...the fat man speaks

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Poster: psymon Date: Nov 2, 2006 11:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

The Ship of Fools on 2/26/95 was just horrific. Jerry somehow ended up with four verses instead of three as he completely botched the lyrics. It was painful to witness.

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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Nov 3, 2006 2:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

"while i tend to put Terrapin in the epic if not quintessential category, i still don't think it is such a bad thing to forgo the conclusion to what is a multi sectioned song to start with"

Yeah, but if you're gonna forgo a section, it should be the first one ( Like they did on 5/22/77 when they just did the ending). The initial stage of Terrapin is essentially a nice story, but overall a fairly repetitive,(dare I say boring) ballad. It's in the subsequent stages that the song really takes off. Without the "Inspiration", Spiral Light of Venus" and the final jam, this is just a filler song to eat up 5 minutes or so, and certainly does not merit being the meat of the pre drums jam!! I mean, come on, when LLR and Don't Need Love overshadow Terrapin, and when that (LLR > {a shortened} Terrapin > DNL) is your featured jam, something is seriously wrong, even in 1986!!!

I don't believe that this was some misguided experiment. This was all Jerry. Bobby appeared to be genuinely stunned when Jerry literally stormed past him to get offstage. This moment literally sucked the energy out of the crowd, and the show never really recovered after it. IMO Jerry was either lost and thought that he was noodling into drums, was upset for some reason, or his pipe was calling him. Almost everyone I talked to after the show was disappointed. Just give it a listen and see for yourself.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd86-04-13.schoeps.eD.13513.sbeok.shnf

This post was modified by Purple Gel on 2006-11-03 22:56:55

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Poster: cream-puff-war Date: Nov 1, 2006 11:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

If I were Garcia, I woulda left the band after Ron died... that was the warning... get into art, scale back, take a vacation...

but then, where would y'all be without those wonderful '80s shows?

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Poster: Fishead Date: Nov 1, 2006 11:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

good one-you are a very funny dude...

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Poster: AshesRising Date: Nov 2, 2006 12:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

"trainwrecks" as I define them were the post-'87 meatheads swilling down their Wild Turkey as they pushed their fat bellies and fatter asses into a show so they could start screaming for "Saint Stephen" during the first set (usually during a sweet Peggy-O). --- AshesRising

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Poster: Liamfinnegan Date: Nov 1, 2006 12:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

I cannot remember if it was 87 or 88 at the Brendan Byrne Arena in the Meadowlands- NJ- The boys started Hell in a Bucket- Bobby completely screwed it up- the song came to an abrupt end about 30 seconds in. A few moments later they tried again and blew out the best Hell in a Bucket I ever heard ( and it is not a favorite of mine)

As far as a pure train wreck- 2nd night Starlake(light?) ampitheater outside Pittsburgh- 92 or 93- again those are one year to me- the 2nd set that night was an embarassment- I was ashamed to be there Jerry was so strung out- and this after a pretty decent first set that started with a healthy HSF and included a New Speedway Boogie and Big RR Blues

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Poster: jackstraw86 Date: Nov 1, 2006 1:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

7/21/84 - Ventura Fairgrounds
This one doesn't directly involve the actions of the band, but it was a personal train wreck in the way that it bummed the rest of the show for me. During Drums, they were making all sorts of bizarre ultrasonic noises. Really low frequencies that made my body physically feel like it was being shaken. I was totally diggin' it but the guy next to me started convulsing and went into a full blown seizure. I was pretty toasted at the time but my Eagle Scout instincts kicked in. I got someone to go get help and tried to keep him from hurting himself until help arrived. The whole incident ruined the rest of the set for me.

Then of course there's the time I was literally out the door heading to Ventura for the '86 shows when I got a call from my buddy already there telling me the shows were just canceled due to Jerry's coma.

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Poster: The Bopper Date: Nov 2, 2006 8:20am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

China Doll, Ventura '83. Painful to listen to. I read somewhere that Gans called these shows a turning point in the Dead's career. Sounded like he meant turning for the worst. Anyway, if these shows were bad the shows at the Frost a month later were great. Especially 8/21/83.

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Poster: Kharmic Chosley Date: Nov 1, 2006 3:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

Wow, I have been to a few of the shows mentioned and didn't find those moments to be a trainwreck at all. I didn't even notice a mix up at the 81 boulder show. Can't recall the afformentioned mis-communication with the band at all. Red Rocks 85 and Telluride 87 just seemed like fantastic moments to me. The Frozen Logger was hillarious. Bobby's voice was being f***ed with so bad by the sound guys I was literally rolling on the ground with laughter. It is much wilder in memory than when re-listening to it however. The Telluride Brokedown Brokedown was another classic funny moment. Both of these experiences added to the special feeling of these shows. It did not even bother me when, after the first show in Telluride, Bill Graham rode by on a moped. I was chilling by the front of the stage, collecting myself for the walk back to camp. Bill rides by, I recognize him, nod and smile. He scowls, points and says, "Pick up that fuckin' trash!" Again I am rolling, this time in the grass.

Truthfully, the biggest trainwrecks for me came in 85 when most outdoor shows had to start in the daytime. This always made a venue seem less intimate, less of a party and usually uncomfortably warm. "Yes officer, I will be happy to move my vehicle from this parking lot, navigate afternoon rush hour traffic in an unfamiliar city and keep everyone safe if you promise me you will make the other cars stop melting." But honestly, those moments could also be really cool. I have been stuck and lost in traffic an hour after a show and someone will honk and wave. Turning around, they have the same saucer eyes and illeagal smile I have! All these are great experiences. It is up to all of us experiencing them to interpret them as positive or not.

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Poster: deadmax Date: Nov 1, 2006 12:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

I believe it was at a Kaiser 85 november show. During Sugar Magnolia Bobby tried to be a rock star. He climbed up on the scaffolding, I guess trying to get to the top to finish the song but he wasn't in as great a shape as he thought and could only make it half-way up. He ended up sitting on the side of the scaffolding on a pipe with his legs hanging out and him kinda inside. Any way it was very embarassing for the crowd.

There was another time I saw Bobby and the Mid-nites at Owens Mill somewhere in Maryland. He was trying to make a big jump for the finale but he tripped and landed on his be-hiney. Not a meltdown just a very funny moment.

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Poster: Fishead Date: Nov 1, 2006 12:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

1971-1979 donna!!!!!!!!!!

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Nov 1, 2006 12:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

lmao!!! - now THAT is friggin funny (and i gotta agree)

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Poster: Fishead Date: Nov 2, 2006 5:55am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

i was fortunate to not witness too many tran wrecks ...i consider most of the 1992 spring tour to be a trainwreck also that darkstar from summer 92 @ star lake was a big crash.trainwreck..


but nothin compares to those wonderful scarlets or playins
from the 70's.....whoo-hoo~~~~ahhhhhhhhhh-yaaaaaaaaaa

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Nov 2, 2006 9:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

Aside from the Donna wails, I find it funny that ALL the trainwrecks mentioned here seem to fall into the only period you love there fishead and NONE of them in all those horrible 70's years that you hate so much.

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Poster: Fishead Date: Nov 3, 2006 5:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

1978 egypt shows !!! :)~~~~~~~~~

woodstock !!!!!

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Nov 3, 2006 9:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

I'm with you on the Woodstock! Good point, can't beleive I missed that one. That blabbering by Babbs is about as bad as it gets.

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Nov 2, 2006 9:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

Not quite a trainwreck but in true dead fashion Bob Weir's amp blows up during the first song of the summer solstice PPV show in 89.

Brent hammered out of his mind in 86 Berkeley comes to mind.

Also, I have not listened to this gig but most heads list the Boreal Ridge show in 85 as the worst of all time. Sounds like altitude, poor performance and equipment problems combine to make a trainwreck. Would love to hear specifics from those who saw it.

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Poster: deadmax Date: Nov 2, 2006 10:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

I was at Boreal. Made the trip from San Francisco.

The show was real bad. Everyone was in a great mood, the mountain was behind us people were partying and having a truly great time.

Then the boys came out.

They started to play and everyone cheered but it wasn't too long before people were looking at each other like WTF?
It looked like each band member was on a different drug mainly Bobby and Jerry. The drummers kept trying to salvage the songs but the other ones couldn't get it together. I think the sound wasn't perfect either.

It was billed as "The Highest Dead Show Ever" but it was just a really bad concert.

I would like to hear it again to see what comes out of the speakers.

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Poster: cush11 Date: Nov 2, 2006 10:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Trainwreck moments at shows!!

Deadmax pretty much sums up what I remember of it. The Daytripper encore was the only redeeming thing about the show. I drove from Utah, and other than hanging with the local Heads around Lake Tahoe, it was not worth the trip... I also heard somewhere that Garcia had the flu or something.